My social media usage these days is primarily Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat.  (My boycott of Facebook continues, see earlier post, and I realize Facebook owns Instagram.)

Posting one photo a day on Instagram has been the norm – post 20 photos a day, and you’ll be unfollowed because you are inundating your follower feeds.  Last August, they introduced a new feature “Your Story” letting users post multiple pictures a day and to compete with SnapChat.

When you log into Instagram, you see people you follow in circles at the top – that’s their current Story (if the ring is red, it means it has been updated since you last viewed it). Each story lasts 24 hours, and then disappears.  One big plus of Instagram is that you can add any picture that’s on your camera roll within the last 24 hours. So if you want to wait until you’re on wifi before you upload that picture or video, you have that option.

Instagram instituted a few additional features since it’s debut:

  • Mention your Instagram friend in your Story and they’ll receive a message that they’re tagged.
  • You can add links to your Story (if your account is verified)
  • They added the Boomerang tool within Story. (You find something that’s moving and it takes 5 quick burst photos that will play in a loop.)
  • Hands-free video option – you don’t have to keep pressing the button while taking the video.
  • You can now add stickers (many seasonal), similar to SnapChat.
  • They have also added Live video which is only available as you’re recording.
  • You can now download your whole Story as one file and save locally to your camera roll.

SnapChat’s recent changes:

  • Removed the Stories auto play function, which users complained about.
  • Added group function
  • Last summer, it rolled out a feature called Memories. You can backup your camera roll to it, and you can connect your Snaps to create a new story. You can add a “memory” (a older picture) to your current Story, but it shows up in a big white box with a date stamp on it.

I have two complaints about SnapChat.  The first is that it’s hard to find people to follow.  The second is inability to add items to your regular story later.  Sometimes, you may want to add a Snap when you can safely type, add stickers, or until you’re on wifi. (Unless you do Memories, which isn’t the same effect.)    Instagram Story has solved both of these problems – you have up to 24 hours to add photo/video to your Story off your Camera Roll, and it doesn’t show up in a huge white, awkward box like Memories. It’s easier to find people on Instagram – especially public figures.

You probably post the same items in both because you may have a different audience. Which one are you leaning towards? I normally like to reward the creator, like SnapChat, but the two complaints I have don’t seem like they’re going to be rectified. The SnapChat selfie filters are only entertaining for so long.

Link:  The Verge: Instagram Stories/Mentions/Links/Boomerang